Family/Local History Enquiry?

If you have a question about your ancestors Stockton Reference Library’s team may be able to help you with your family history, or with your questions about the local area.

The Reference Library can provide free access to family history websites including Ancestry and Find My Past. We also hold church records for Stockton and the surrounding area, historical maps, local trade directories and electoral registers.

If you’re looking for a newspaper article – we have local newspapers as far back as 1855 which can be viewed on microfilm in our Family History Suite.

We provide one to one help sessions and also a free introductory family history course to help with your research.

Please visit the Reference Library within Stockton Central Library or contact us on 01642 528079 or email: reference.library@stockton.gov.uk

88 thoughts on “Family/Local History Enquiry?

  1. Hello – I am contacting you on behalf of Station Road Residents Association in Norton. We would like any information on the history of ‘Tinker’s Yard’, which is a small green space situated just behind Station Road.
    In particular it would be helpful if anybody can clarify the correct name. There is a difference of opinion as to whether it is ‘Tinker’s Yard’ or ‘Tinkler’s Yard’. It is thought that the land was donated by the Tinkler family, which would favour the argument for it being called the latter.
    We would also like to know more about previous use of the land. When we planted some fruit trees there last year, there was a lot of brick and rubble underneath, so it is likely there were some kind of buildings on the land beforehand.
    We hope to place an information panel on the site in the coming months, so any information (or photographs) on the history would be really appreciated.
    Thanks
    Mike Blackburn

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    • Hi Mike,

      We have checked our records and unfortunately, can not find a reference to the yard. However, Bob Harbron believes that the area was named when Irish navvies set up camp there when working on the Clarence Railway in the 1830’s & later to help build Norton Ironworks. He also believes that the original name of the yard was Tinker’s Yard, after the men who lived there. It was later to become known as Tinkler’s as it was thought to be a more respectable name. Bob does not believe that it has any connection to Tinkler’s that had a company in Bowesfield Lane, Stockton.
      I am sorry but we do not have any photographs of the area at that time.

      I hope this information is of some use to you.

      Kind regards, Julie

      Stockton Reference Library

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  2. Hi I was wondering if anyone knew/had any stories about Dave “Blackie” Fletcher? I’m his granddaughter and never knew him – hoping I can find out more xx

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  3. Searching for information about my maternal grandparents who lived in and around Stockton/Thornaby area. Thomas H Watts was my grandfather, born 1894, died 1928 aged 34. I believe he served in the Great War and was a victim of mustard gas poisoning from which he never recovered. He married Florence Robinson in 1918 and they had four kids, John, Doreen, Alma and Norma (my mother) I know Florence lived in Lawn (Lorne?) Street at some point, but other than that I’m finding it hard to find out any info. I’d love to know who Thomas’s father was, as I can find no record, though I think his maternal grandparents’ surname might have been James and they originated from Wales. I think Thomas might have had two brothers William, 1890 and John 1891. I know it’s a long shot, but any info would be appreciated.

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    • Elizabeth, Thomas’s parents were John and Margaret Watts. John and Margaret James had married in Midlesbrough in early 1889. You will find them in the 1891 census living in Thornaby with their first two sons William and John. You may have relatives in Canada as I believe that John emigrated there.

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  4. Hello

    I am coming up to research the Wetherell family who lived in Yarm and surrounding areas. My Great grandmother was Jane Elizabeth Wetherell 1865 – 1935. She lived in Wetherell’s Yard, Yarm where I think she may have been born. According to my mum, whose now 89, the family were Coal Labourers. However, Jane Elizabeth Wetherell my great grandma we believed worked at a drapers/tailers called Bradley Tailors or Drapers in Yarm when she was 15 around 1871. My mum has a letter from an address where she was a domestic servant but its hard to make it out but looks like High Street, Yarm. I wondered if there was a tailor company called Bradleys and what address it was and what is there now.

    I am also unsure as to why the Wetherell family would have a yard called Wetherell Yard and how I would find it now?

    Any help on the family would be wonderful to give to my mum.

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    • Steven, Jane E Wetherell (b.1865) was the son of John and Margaret Wetherell.
      You can trace John back to the 1841 census where he appears as the 8 yr old son of Thomas and Ann Wetherell. Even in 1841, Thomas was employed as a coal heaver. There were no coal mines in the vicinity, so he was either working for a coalman in Yarm, or possibly working at Yarm Railway Station where coal was unloaded from the wagons.
      The 1871 Census shows that Wetherell Yard was situated on the western side of the High Street, just a few doors from its southern end, where Church Street enters the High Street. You may have noticed that almost all of the Wetherell’s neighbours lived in adjacent yards. Whenever somebody built a new house on the High Street, there was a small alleyway leading past the house to a yard at the rear, around that yard were built several dwellings. The Yard was named after the family who built the yard and lived in the house at the front. It looks as if the house that the Wetherell family lived in, in 1871, was the same as had been lived in by Thomas Wetherell in 1841.

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  5. Hello, I’m trying to find information on a John Francis James, who was orphaned in Stockton in 1928. My gran thought he was a Barnardo’s boy, however the charity I contacted doesn’t have any record of him. Are there any other children’s homes in the area that might have records of him?

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    • Kate, Kingston STREET was in the Tilery estate. It was on the north side of Tilery Road. You can see it on this map http://maps.nls.uk/view/101100488
      Use your mouse to enlarge the image. Head North from Stockton High Street, turn into Tilery Road, and you will find Kingston Street on your left, towards the end.

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  6. A Natrass was a Mayor of Stockton, a school was also named after him. My wife has Nattrass in her family tree in Stockton. Do you have any information on the above Nattrass? ie: His Genealogy?

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  7. I’m trying to find out about my Great Grand father Allan Pounder who was a famous crane designer for the docks but I cant find anything about him.

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  8. I am searching my Mothers family name Noad, they lived in Heartburn Village in the late 19th century and early 20th century, it would be great if you have any information on them.

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    • Victor, do you have the family from the census records? The family lived in Hartburn from 1871 to 1901, and some of the married daughters may have been there even longer. The family is difficult to trace at times as the census enumerators wrote down the surname in various ways such as Knoad (1871), Noad (1881) and Noud (1901).

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    • Hi Victor,
      I have had a quick look on Ancestry and managed to find Arthur Thomas Noad and Emily Noad living at 3 Harper Terrace, Hartburn on the 1911 census could these be your relatives?
      If you would like to research your family history we have a free introduction course here in the reference library. We also have access to Ancestry and Find My Past, and various other resources to help with your research.
      If you would like any further information you can e-mail us at reference.library@stockton.gov.uk or by phone on 01642 528079.
      Best regards,
      Adele

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  9. Looks like I made a mess of entering my previous comment – In the 1891 census my great grandparents were living at 10 Cottage Street – my great great grandparents were living at 6 Cottage Street – was wondering if there are any photographs of the street from that era. Regards Nora (Canberra).

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    • Hello Nora,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      Unfortunately there are no photographs of Cottage Street in our collection.
      Is it definitely Cottage Street that your ancestors lived in, as we have traced a Cottage Row, which was at the Castlegate end of Stockton High Street. Although there are no photographs of Cottage Row either, there are some of Castlegate.
      Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.
      Kind regards, Julie

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  10. I am stuck trying to find my grandfather’s parents’ names. His name was Henry Walker and he fought in the first World War. He married Isabella O’Grady and they lived in Norton (I think) but could have been Stockton. My mother thought that he got a job as a council gardener because he was gassed in the war and had to work outside, but she didn’t seem very sure about that. My mother’s name was Kathleen Walker and she lived in Wylam Road, Norton after the second world war. I don’t know what date they moved there.

    My grandfather had a sister called Jinny or Betty (not her real name) who married a man called Pottage and they lived in Thornaby.

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    • Lesley, there were so many Henry Walkers living in Stockton around the time of W.W.I that it is difficult to identify which Walker family is yours. The best way of tracing his parents is to purchase a copy of his marriage certificate. Henry married Isabella O’Grady at Stockton in late 1919. You can order a copy of his certificate from Stockton Registry Office.
      I suspect that his parents may have been Thomas and Elizabeth Walker, as the 1901 Census shows that their children included Henry (aged 9) and Jane (aged 6). Sister Jane may have been the “Jinny” you mentioned. And there was a Jane Walker who married a George Pottage in Middlesbrough in 1928.

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  11. Hi
    I am looking for Scouts and Guides who went to Brunswick coffee bar Stockton in late 1960s especially: Paul Bennington, Geoff (Jeff) Bell, a Jackie who came from Oxbridge area. Can anyone help? Any old photos appreciated. Now live in south!
    J
    Thanks!

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  12. Hi,

    I’m after some information about a dentists’ practice from 1882 onward. Apparently my great g g grandfather Daniel Sibson moved to Stockton-on-Tees to practice with a cousin. Now we know that Daniel and many of his sons and relatives did in fact carry on the dentistry practice but I’m after any info on the initial practice that was established. Addresses etc would be good too.

    I will actually be visiting Stockton from Australia in July too.

    Can you help?

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    • Hi,
      I have managed to find some information regarding your family. I will e-mail you directly with the information I have found.
      Kind regards
      Adele

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    • The 1891 Census shows the Sibson family living in Hardwick Terrace, this was on the eastern side of the High Street, at its northern end, just before King Street. In 1891 D.S. placed an advert in the local paper (The Daily Gazette) under “Situations Vacant” seeking a dental student. Applicants were to write to him at Hardwick House, which presumably was the name of his property in the terrace.
      The Daily Gazette contains many entries relating to members of the Sibson family. Were they Quakers, as they sent their son Arthur to the Quaker run School at Great Ayton?
      The Gazette records his academic progress at Middlesbrough High School, and his subsequent qulification at the Royal College of Surgeons. Son Ernest was a prominent Good Templar. Wife Elizabeth was elected to the Board of Guardians.
      See if you can access British Library Newspapers via the Gale Group website, then you can search the Daily Gazette on-line. Good Luck, Cliff.

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      • Just a note that Hardwick Terrace included the properties on Norton road that are between King St. & Queen St., as well as the 3 properties between the Lambton Castle pub and King St. The Lambton Castle is No.1 High St. making Hardwick Terrace the first properties on the eastern side of Norton Road.

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  13. Hi, my husband’s birth certificate shows he was born at Barton House, West End Terrace – we think this may have been Eaglescliffe. Please can you say if this was a maternity hospital or a private address, thank you.

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  14. Hello, I wonder if you have any information regarding J Jones LTD Furrier and Costumier company which I believe had some basis within Stockton? I’m very interested to know for a University research project. Thanks for you time!

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    • Hello Ed,
      If you can e-mail us direct at the reference library with some more information, including a date the company was in business.
      Our email address is reference.library@stockton.gov.uk we will have a look through our archive and trade directories.
      Kind regards
      Adele

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  15. Hi. I am trying to locate any old pictures of our house on Darlington Lane, Norton in the 1900s. We live in the terrace houses opposite the flats. Any help would be much appreciated. Regards.

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  16. Hi, I’m looking for any old photographs of the Wynyard pub on Whitehouse Road in Billingham. I know it was built in the 1960s but unsure of the year. I would appreciate any photos or early history, many thanks

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  17. My maiden name is Colling and my Dads family lived in the Thorntree Road area of Thornaby. There has always been talk that we are related to the Colling brothers who bred the first shorthorn cow at Ketton Farm. Also a relation who was a chemist called Harry Colling. How distant are these relations?

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    • Victoria, the brothers which you mention were Robert Colling (1749-1820) and Charles Colling (1751-1836) of Ketton Farm, who bred the famous Ketton Ox. Robert died in 1820 and left everything to his brother, Charles. Robert did not mention a wife or any children in his will. Charles died in 1836 and also left a will. He left a number of bequests but all his property was left to his wife, Mary. Charles did not mention any children in his will. So it appears that neither brother left any descendants. If you are related to that Colling family it must be through some collateral line.

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      • Yes I believe so. It would be interesting to know more as my Dad was always told of the relationship as a child. There is so much history around this area relating in particular to the cow who I believe was called Comet. There are a lot of Collings buried in the old Oxbridge Cemetery but I’m not sure of the connection to my Dad. He also remembers stories of Harry Colling who was a local chemist. Could you provide us with any more information?

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        • Vicki, the 1911 Census shows only one family named Collings living in Stockton.
          That was John Edward Collings (57) and his wife Elizabeth (37). Their children included Jane (b.1897), Ivy (b.1899), Leonard (1904) and Wilfred (1908).
          John Edward Collings was a Gilder, a trade which he was taught by his father Edward Collings. Edward Collings was baptised at St Cuthbert’s Church, Darlington in 1825. He was the son of John Collings (b.1786) and his wife Eleanor (1781). BUT John Collings came from Bellingham in Northumberland.
          I suspect that because the family came to Stockton from Darlington, it has been wrongly assumed that they were related to the Collings of Ketton.
          The book “History of Shorthorn Cattle” published in 1907, confirms that Robert Collings was a bachelor, and that his brother Charles Collings died childless.

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  18. Hi was wondering if anyone knew, where I could get a picture of Stafford pottery in Thornaby, my great grandma worked there she was called Nora Bertha, my dad has the pic of her stood with another woman.

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    • Hi Louise,
      We hold microfilm copies of the Gazette from 1860 to today and these can be viewed in the Reference Library. However, unless you have an approximate date, eg. month and year of the accident, it will be very difficult and time consuming to search.
      If you have any questions please contact us on 01642 528079.

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    • Hi Mark,

      Looking through Stockton’s council minutes we have found an entry regarding an application for the refurbishment and extension of Low Farm, Lowfields Avenue, to form a public house for Joseph Tetley and Sons Ltd., which had been received by the Local Planning Authority on 31st March 1988.

      The first entry for the Teal Arms in the Yellow Pages appears a year later in 1989 so Low Farm must have been redeveloped within those two years. Unfortunately we do not have an exact date of when the Teal Arms opened.

      Best wishes,
      Hannah

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    • Hello Liz
      Unfortunately TB was not an common disease at that time, therefore it is unlikely that it would have been reported in the local press. However, we do hold local newspaper records on microfilm and you are welcome to come & browse through them. No appointment is needed for this.
      best wishes, Julie

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  19. My grandfather died in the district of Stockton in 1933. Does anyone know which library the old records are kept or if they are available online? Thanks

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    • Hello Liz
      What sort of record is it you are looking for?
      Stockton Reference Library holds most, but not all of the parish records for the Stockton area.
      We also have free access to online records through Ancestry & Find my Past.
      What sort of record is it you are looking for?
      Official certificates such as birth, marriage & death certificates can only be obtained from either the relevant Register Office or from the General Records Office.
      If you would like to email us with more details at the address above, we will endeavour to give you more information.

      Best wishes, Julie

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  20. Could you tell me what year the smallpox hospital was knocked down, it was situated on Harrogate Lane in Hardwick near the Horse and Jockey roundabout.

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    • Hi Linzey,

      Unfortunately looking through our records we have been unable to find a date of when the smallpox hospital was knocked down.

      We do believe however that the hospital may have been knocked down in order to build the Hardwick estate. This would have been in the early 1950s.

      We have had a look through the council minutes for 1950 – 1955 but have not been able to find any mention of the hospital. If you wanted to you would be more than welcome to come and browse through earlier/later council minutes in the Reference Library.

      We are sorry we could not give you a more specific date.

      Best wishes,
      Hannah

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  21. My mother was born 31/12/1914 in 1 Elm Street, Haverton Hill. I was born in 1953 in Hawke Street, Haverton Hill. I would like to know where Elm Street was because I think it was demolished before I was born.

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    • Hi Julie,
      Elm Street would have been at the bottom of Clarence Street, which is still there today. There were 3 streets in a row, Ash, Oak, and Elm, with Elm being the last street before the allotment gardens, which I believe are also still there.

      Hope this helps. If you are still unsure, you are welcome to call into Stockton Reference Library where we have historic maps showing Elm and Hawke Street.

      Best wishes, Julie

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  22. I’m looking for information on William and Martha Long who may have been related to Thomas Arthur Lenham 1887 – 1947 in Stockton.
    Can anyone assist please?

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  23. Hi, I was wondering if anyone knows anything about Hawke street in Haverton Hill. My nana was born there in 1924, but I can find no reference to the street in the 1911 census, which seems odd?

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    • Hello Emma,

      Just to confirm the answer Cliff Thornton gave you, Hawke Street was part of the Furness Estate at Haverton Hill. Building on the estate didn’t begin until around 1918 and Hawke Street was only partly constructed by 1919.

      Hope this helps.

      Julie

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  24. Davis Bridge @ Billingham,
    I would be grateful for information about this bridge, its dimensions, dates of commencement to completion, also cost of production from plan to finally being opened.
    Thanking you,
    Joyce.Joyce J

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    • Hello Joyce,
      Thank you for your enquiry about Davis Bridge. I have managed to find some information about the bridge which I will e-mail to you. Unfortunately without knowing the exact date of this development, it would be very time consuming to check the newspaper archive we hold and the council minutes. I would suggest contacting the planning department to see if they can help. You are welcome to come and check our archives for yourself.
      I hope this helps
      kind regards, Adele

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  25. I am writing a book and would like to have more information/photos of the timber yard on the river and the bus depot opposite in circa 1950 please. My father was caretaker of the timber yard. Can any one help me with this please?

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    • Hello Betty,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      I have looked at some of our local history books and old newspaper’s, and I believe the timber yard was Foster Brotherton and Co. Timber Merchants. I have found a little bit of information which I have attached to an e-mail for you. You are welcome to come and look through our archives for further information if you require.
      I hope this helps
      Adele

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  26. Hello from Canada! My gt granddad Thomas Dickinson & his large family lived at 1 Dennison St Stockton in the late 1800’s & early 1900’s. He was a Master Blacksmith & a Verger at St. Peter’s Church & I was always told they lived next door to the church. My question is did they renumber the house on Dennison at anytime after 1918? If so, do you know the new number, or perhaps it was demolished? Thank you for your time.

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    • Hello Anne,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      I have looked at census records and historic maps showing Dennison Street in the late 1800’s, and am certain the houses that the houses have been re-numbered. In 1899 there are only 8 houses on Dennison Street, which is next to St. Peter’s Church.
      I have scanned a section of an 1899 map which shows the area and sent this to your email address, along with other details.

      I hope this answers your query.
      Kind regards, Julie.

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  27. Hello,
    Can you help me, I have been doing some family research and have come across a picture of ‘McNaughton’s Steam Laundry’ in Bishopton Lane in Stockton. I have been trying to work out from the picture exactly where in Bishopton Lane the building was and if the ‘McNaughton’ who owned it might be an ancestor of mine. Any information or help in my research would be very much appreciated.

    Thank You
    Jackie

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    • Hello Jackie,
      McNaughton’s Steam Laundry was located at no. 3 Station Terrace, (now known as Bishopton Lane). If you know where the Queen’s Hotel used to be, the laundry was just past the hotel, towards Stockton Station. I think the buildings are still there, however they will probably have been re-numbered when they became part of Bishopton Lane, so I can’t tell you exactly where it was. The laundry was being run by Mr. Duncan McNaughton in the 1908-09 Ward’s Directory of Stockton. By1928 it was known as Wear Valley Laundry Ltd., so sometime between 1908 and 1928 ownership may have changed. McNaughtons Ltd. are also listed in Dixon St., which is off Dovecot St. If you would like to see a map showing Station Terrace, please call in to the Reference Library anytime.
      There were quite a large number of McNaughton families in Stockton but if you can connect to Duncan, then this could be your family.
      I hope this answers your questions.

      Julie

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  28. Hello, Can you give me any information on the Stockton Union Workhouse at 50 Portrack Lane Stockton. My great grandmother Beatrice Pearce was there in 1911 as an inmate with my grandfather, Albert (2 months old).

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    • Hello Karen,

      Thank you for your enquiry.
      Unfortunately, the only records that we in the Reference Library for Stockton Workhouse are census records. As you already know that your great grandmother was there in 1911 with your grandfather, aged 2 months, you have probably seen the 1911 Census record. As your grandfather was only 2 months old, it is possible that either he or his mother was in the workhouse as a patient at that time.

      I suggest that you contact Durham Records Office at : record.office@durham.gov.uk – as they hold Guardian’s Minutes which may contain some information. Also, here is a link to the Workhouse.org website, which has some information about the building.
      http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Stockton/

      Stockton Heritage website has a brief article also.
      I hope this information is of some help.
      If you have any further questions please contact us on 01642 528079 or email: reference.library@stockton.gov.uk

      Regards, Julie Allinson

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  29. Found a relative who died in 1885, buried in Oxbridge Lane cemetery and lived in Percy Street. Was there a Percy Street in Stockton as I can’t find one now or would it be Percy Street in Middlesbrough? Any info gratefully received.

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    • Hi Martin, thank you for your enquiry.

      Yes, there was a Percy Street in Stockton – it used to lead off from Parliament Street, which runs parallel to what used to be Holy Trinity Church. Now the area is occupied by a new housing estate.

      We do have maps within the Reference Library which show Percy Street; if you would like to get in touch with us via reference.library@stockton.gov.uk we could send a scanned copy to you.

      Kind regards,
      Hannah

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  30. It states that Greens House farm in Fairfield, Stockton-on-Tees was demolished in 1957 but when I started Fairfield Secondary Modern School in 1960 the actual farmhouse was still there. Can someone clarify this?

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    • HI Christine, thank you for your enquiry
      .
      You are in fact correct! Greens House Farm was still there when Fairfield Secondary School was opened. The building was in a poor state of repair, and had been due to be demolished for quite some time. (In fact before construction on the school even began!) However, it was not until either late 1960, or early 1961 (we can not be certain which unfortunately) that it was finally demolished, possibly the delay was due to it being a listed building.
      My twin brothers went to the school when it first opened and agreed with you that the farm house was still there.
      Hope this answers your question, and we will correct the information relating to the photograph asap.

      Best wishes, Julie.

      Like

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